The Kennedy One-Name Study follows the standards and guidelines of the Guild of One-Name Studies. Foremost is the standard to work wherever possible from primary sources. Examples of primary sources include official church or government birth records and census returns and legal charters. Secondary sources can be referred to but are insufficient for inclusion in the main database and construction of the Kennedy family trees. Examples of secondary sources are books, web sites and pedigrees or other information submitted to the project without the backup of a primary source. A good secondary source (such as this web site) will cite its primary sources so you can verify what it says. Sometimes a single source can be both primary and secondary at the same time: depending on how contemporary the individual record is, for example. The following is a small selection of the sources consulted for the project. New sources are discovered almost daily, ranging from Ogam stone inscriptions to today's Google Alerts.

Note that there is a large volume of papers relating to the land-owning Scottish Kennedys that lack a parallel amongst their Irish counterparts. There is further discussion of this point, and a further list of sources, in my dissertation from the Pharos Tutors Advanced One-Name Studies course.

Primary sources

An tSeirbhís um Chlárú Sibhialta (General Register Office Ireland)

General Register Office for Scotland (includes records held at New Register House and online at ScotlandsPeople).

General Register Office [ie England & Wales]

The John F. Kennedy papers at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

Kennedy of Cultra PRONI D686 (this family included Sir Arthur Edward Kennedy the famous poor law inspector during the Famine).

Aodh Ua Cinneidigh/Hugh Kennedy, first Chief Justice of Ireland. His main personal papers are held at UCD archives. Also a small number of items in the National Archives of Ireland catalogue including the calendar entry for his will. Both his parents were Kennedys, the father from Donegal and the mother from Clare.

Kennedys of Crosby House, Crosby-on-Eden Cumbria Archives DKEN/3

Ailsa Muniments (1290-1940) NAS GD25. This collection has over 4000 catalogue entries.

Kennedys of Dalquharran and Dunure (1515-1797) NAS GD27

Kennedys of Bennane and Finnarts (1450-1926) NAS GD60

Bargany Muniments (Papers of the family of Dalrymple-Hamilton of Bargany, Ayrshire) NAS GD109. Whilst these papers mostly relate to the Dalrymple-Hamiltons they also cover the transfer of the Bargany estates from Thomas Kennedy to Sir John Hamilton in the 1620s. The final reference to Thomas, dated 16 Sep 1630, shows him designated 'Thomas Kennedy lately styled of Bargany' (GD109/102).

Kennedys of Kirkmichael Ayrshire Archives ATD42, the first of two main collections.

Secondary sources

The following are recommended secondary sources for the study of the Kennedy surname. They still require caution before using and may contain errors and unjustified speculation, particularly in respect to the origins of the name.

Scottish branch:

The Kennedys (Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran, Baronet, 1958)

The Magnificent Castle of Culzean and the Kennedy Family (Michael Moss, 2002)

The History of the Kennedys of Cassillis and Culzean (Debbie Camp/Jackson*, privately printed in 1988-9, deposited at Carnegie Library, Ayr)

A Historical and Genealogical Account of the Principal Families of the Name of Kennedy (Robert Pitcairn, Edinburgh, 1830).

Historical Account of the Noble Family of Kennedy Marquesses of Ailsa and Earls of Cassillis with Holders of some of the principal Cadets thereof (anon.) Edinburgh, 1849

The Seven Sons of the Provost: an 18th Century Chronicle of the family of Kennedy of Dunure (ed. Henrietta Taylor, 1949)

The Life and Times of James Kennedy, Bishop of St Andrews (Annie I. Dunlop, St Andrews University Publications, 1950)

Janet Kennedy, Royal Mistress. Marriage and divorce at the court of James IV and V. (Ishbel C.M. Barnes, Birlinn, 2007.)

Kennedys of Auchtyfardle (James Gourlay, 1936)

Kennedys in Orkney and Caithness (John Mooney, Orkney Antiquarian Society, 1932)

Kennedy (Kennedys of Knocknalling) (James Douglass Kennedy, 1884)

Hector MacQueen 'The kin of Kennedy, 'kenkynnol' and the common law' in A. Grant and K. J. Stringer (eds) Medieval Scotland: Crown, Lordship and Community: Essays Presented to G. W. S. Barrow (Edinburgh University Press, 1993) 274-296

Hector MacQueen 'Survival and success: the Kennedys of Dunure' in Boardman, Steve, and Ross, Alasdair (eds) The Exercise of Power in Medieval Scotland c.1200-1500 (eds Boardman and Ross) (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2003) pp. 67-94

Hector L. MacQueen, 'Kennedy family (per. c.1350-1513)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Oct 2006 [, accessed 28 Nov 2007]. An overview of the lowland Kennedy family up to the battle of Flodden in 1513, drawing on the above two works

Some account of the ancient Earldom of Carric by Andrew Carrick Esq M.D. (1809)

Bygone Lochaber (Somerled MacMillan, 1971) - contains some interesting coverage of Kennedy of Leanachan

Some notes on the Kennedies of Leanachan by AG Morrison (WHNQ 2/10 1992)

History of the County of Ayr (Paterson, 1847/52)

Irish branch:

John F. Kennedy: An unfinished life 1917-1963 (Robert Dallek, 2003)

The Irish Kennedys - The story of the "Rebellious O'Kennedys" (Brian Patrick Kennedy)

Irish family names: Kennedy/Ó Cinnéide (Dáithí Ó hÓgáin)

A family of Kennedy of Clogher and Londonderry c. 1600-1938. Kennedy, Francis M.E. (Taunton, 1938).

* Michael Moss references the author twice as Debbie Jackson, however her surname when she authored this work was Camp